Monday, October 19, 2009

$174 million

$174 million--that's how short my school district will be from last year's budget. Here's the best case scenario (still leaving us far short of the deficit):
  • No raises or cost of living increase for teachers (2nd year in a row)
  • Elimination of freshmen sports
  • Class size increases
  • Elimination of foreign languages in elementary school
  • Elimination of full day kindergarten
  • Cuts in school counseling (again), custodial staff (again)
  • Elimination of summer school--this is major for ESOL kids who depend on summer school to catch up on their English credits
  • Elimination of alternative high schools--this is also major for ESOL students: many are older and use these alternative programs to work during the day and study at night
  • Elimination of elementary school music programs
It makes me want to make a career change. With all these disadvantages, schools will still press for improved test scores, with the onus being placed on teachers: work harder, work longer, with no increase in pay and in worse conditions.

I recognize the hardships on every one, including tax payers, but I truly believe, when it comes to education, you pay now, or you pay later. What will it mean for the future of these students if we cut out foreign language and music? What opportunities and talents will be missed? How much will the federal government have to shell out later in essential language training? What will happen to students who drop out because the loss of summer school opportunities or alternative high schools makes graduating from high school in the allotted time totally impossible? How much income will they bring back into the system?

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